Former PM Farmajo wins Somalia's presidential vote

Former PM Farmajo wins Somalia's presidential vote

The airport, where the vote was taking place, was guarded by the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM and is surrounded by high concrete barriers to protect it from attack.

Before being appointed prime minister he spent several years working in New York for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority and the Erie County Division of Equal Employment Opportunity, as well as the New York State Department of Transportation.

Farmajo, born in 1962, was prime minister from 2010 to 2011, when he slashed the size of the cabinet and was credited with appointing technocrats.

Winning 184 votes over incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's 97 votes, Mohamud conceded defeat and Farmajo was immediately sworn in.

Somalia's instability landed it among the seven Muslim-majority countries affected by US President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, even though its government has been an increasingly important partner for the US military on counterterrorism efforts, including drone strikes against al-Shabab leaders.

As president, Farmajo inherits a country where Al-Shabaab extremists hold swathes of countryside and attack Mogadishu at will.

The global community pushed Somalia to hold the election as a symbol of strength, with the USA pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years for political and economic recovery. "I will work hard for the good of the the people and in the interest of this country".

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"This victory belongs to Somali people, and this is the beginning of the era of the unity, the democracy of Somalia and the beginning of the fight against corruption", Farmajo said.

With at least one of the remaining candidates having dual citizenship, Somalia could end up with a president who also holds a USA passport - Farmajo.

And after decades of unrest, hundreds of thousands of Somalis have been displaced internally, or else have fled the country. The U.S., U.K., Kenya and South Africa are among countries where many Somalis have settled.

"Security was our first priority and it still remains our first priority", he told Voice of America Somali Friday. Story by Dan Joseph. The airport will be closed, and the vote will be confined to a heavily protected former air force base. Celebratory gunfire was heard across the city at his victory. Graft - vote-buying, fraud, intimidation - is the top concern in a nation that Transparency International now rates as the most corrupt in the world.

The election process started in October, and lawmakers began voting Tuesday.

The worldwide community have criticised the ubiquitous corruption. The result was a surprise as most expected Mohamud to win a second term.

Journalists and worldwide observers are watching as lawmakers cast their ballots into a transparent glass box. Al-Shabaab has frequently targeted government buildings and hotels in Mogadishu.

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